Schematic diagram of land-use transitions
in LUH2



Land-Use Harmonization (LUH2)

As part of the World Climate Research Program Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), the international community is developing the next generation of advanced Earth System Models (ESM) able to estimate the combined effects of human activities (e.g. land use and fossil fuel emissions) on the carbon-climate system. In addition, a set of historical data based on HYDE, and multiple alternative scenarios of the future (2015-2100) developed by Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) teams, are being developed as input for these models. The goal of the Land-Use Harmonization (LUH2) project is to prepare a harmonized set of land-use scenarios that smoothly connects the historical reconstructions of land-use with the future projections in the format required for ESMs. The land-use harmonization strategy estimates the fractional land-use patterns, underlying land-use transitions, and key agricultural management information, annually for the time period 850-2100 at 0.25 x 0.25 resolution, while minimizing the differences at the transition between the historical reconstruction ending conditions and IAM initial conditions, and working to preserve changes depicted by the IAMs in the future.

The LUH2 model and datasets prepared for CMIP6 are described in Hurtt et al. 2020.

The SSP land-use scenarios used here and harmonized to the historic land use data are described in Popp et al. 2017.

To download our datasets or source code please visit the Data, and Code pages. For more information, related publications, and contact information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page and Links pages.

Previously, in preparation for the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Land-use Harmonization (LUH1) project also provided harmonized land-use data as part of CMIP5 for the years 1500-2100, at 0.5° x 0.5° resolution, which is now permanently archived at the ORNL DAAC.


Project Contacts:

Louise Chini
Assistant Research Professor
(301) 405-4050


George Hurtt
(301) 405-8541


Steve Frolking
Research Professor
(603) 862-0244


Ritvik Sahajpal
Assistant Research Professor
(301) 832-4118